I can't speak for anyone else, of course, but I'm pretty sure that my holiday blues are in full swing already, and it's not even Thanksgiving yet. Worse yet, I think that for me, they started around Hallowe'en, which ... what the hell, you know? The Mall and the Wal-Mart have been playing Christmas music for at least two weeks already, and every year it seems like I am less and less tolerant of the whole Labor-Day-into-Christmas mess.

There is no excuse for it: all things considered, it looks like it's going to be an okay Christmas for us, really. I mean, I spent a good chunk of my Christmas Club money at the casinos in Niagara Falls back in October, but I got my holiday bonus early, and it was double what I got last year. (Still not enough, y'ask me, considering the amount of ravenous flaming bullshit that I put up with throughout the year, but I shouldn't complain, since I get anything at all.) We're not flat-ass broke, although we never have as much as we want, but we know the budget, and we should be covered.

It's just ... we had a lot of expectations for the holidays this year, many of them patently ridiculous but expectations nonetheless, and none of them panned out quite the way we had hoped. Back in August when we started the adoption classes, we were told that we could have a placement in time for Christmas. And we heard that, and glommed onto it, and are having trouble embracing the reality of the situation, which is:

That was a great big conditional "could" there, kiddo, with a lot of if's attached.

Long story short, because you're probably wondering: we had absolutely zero idea what we were getting ourselves into, and even less idea what that meant to us. It's been four years since we starting trying to have a baby, and we figured that a few months of more waiting was no big fat hairy whoop, but ... we were oh, so wrong. Tom Petty said it, and we didn't listen: "The waiting is the hardest part."

So when I got my Christmas charity child, and it's a two-year-old Hispanic girl, which is pretty much exactly the kind of kid we want to adopt? I about lost my shit. Especially because that happened less than a week after our case worker told us, point blank, that the likelihood of us getting a child under the age of 3 is pretty much nil. We've talked about it, and I think we're fine with an older kid -- maybe a 2nd grader -- but I'd be lying if I said that it was our Malibu Barbie Dream Situation.

Because, and I need to admit this: we really, really want a baby. When we were referred, we had the idea that this would be no problem. I don't know where I got the idea that DPW had babies growing in the backyard or something, but I got it into my head that we were going to have one. Poof! "Mr. and Mrs. G., congratulations, here's your infant!" And on some level, intellectually, I just knew that it was too good to be true, but I wanted to believe. I still want to believe.

But at this point it doesn't look likely. And I want to be OK with going from nothing-to-seven-year-old in one day, but I don't know if I really am. I believe in fate, and I believe that -- despite all the personal problems I'm having with God lately, all the doubt and anger and indecision -- I still believe that He has a plan for us. And I really want to believe that the child that is placed with us is absolutely the child that will complete our family.

And yet ... and yet. I've been asked more than once what I want for Christmas, and the only answer I have is: a baby. And I feel so wicked and evil for saying that, because obviously there is a reason why I can't have one of my own. Right? Isn't there? But what is the reason? Why can't I understand? Why won't the Universe give me some kind of clue? And why can't I accept that there are some things, some questions, to which I am not meant to know the answers? Why won't I stop being such a bullheaded fool and just acknowledge that some things, many things, especially the big things, are out of my control?

Now I go into the holidays knowing that the one thing I want, the only thing in the world that I want, more than life, more than anything, more than the moon, is not for me to have. It's not even fair for me to ask for it, really: that's so much responsibility to place on the shoulders of a wee one. "Welcome to the world, little boy or little girl! Go make your Mommy happy!" Gaaaah. I don't want to be that person, and I don't know how to shut it off, and I don't know how to stop feeling guilty about being unsure of my place in the world.

There is a prayer that should be said by and for people like me. You might recognize it from every 12-step program meeting ever held anywhere, ever. It goes like this:

"God, grant me
The serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And always, the wisdom to know the difference."

And, if you have a line to Santa? Please: no socks or underwear, OK?


To begin with, I should say that I don't know why I do these things to myself. But, nevertheless, today is a lazy Sunday, and I've finally gotten my Daylight Savings Time hour back, and what am I doing with my extra hour? Spending it online, Googling old classmates and feeling sorry for myself because I am nothing compared to most of them.

I went through this before, about a month ago, when I spotted one of the people I graduated from high school with on an episode of NUMB3RS. And, of course, being the me that I am, I've kind of been obsessing over it since then. Where is everyone else I went to high school with? What are they all doing? Am I the only one who isn't doing anything cool or useful or important with my life?

Not that there is anything wrong with my life, as I have said before. My life is just fine. My husband loves me. My cats love me. My iPod and my TiVo and my VW all love me. Like Warren Zevon before me, I live a quiet normal life. I just guess it's not enough, and I don't know why. There's no reason for it. I'm crazy. Totally batshit insane. And, of course, none of this is anything new. I've always been like this.

Thus, the self-immolation. It's taken me 10 years, since I got out of college and could finally admit to myself that I hated every goddamned minute of it, for me to accept that maybe I am not the über-nerd over-achiever that I always thought I would be. And then I find out what everybody else is doing with their lives, and I realize that ... oh my stars, I have done nothing! To wit:
  • My high-school arch-nemesis John Conahan has put out three albums and is working on a new one
  • The Valedictorian of my class, Sonya Smallets, is some kind of fancy-schmancy employment lawyer in San Francisco
  • Annie Ditmars is living in Paris, married to a minister and teaching ballet
  • Apparently Ellyson Stout is working for the U.N., although I can't really tell what she does, but her name is on an important-looking document, so I'm sure she's doing something awesome
  • Ed Tadajweski is a cardiologist
  • Keith Heimbach is a teacher
And what do I do? I suck, pretty much. I live in a house that needs a new kitchen and a new bathroom and a new roof. I have a job that I hate about as often as I love it. I'm in debt up to my eyeballs. I have no room left on any credit cards and only about $16 in the bank. I have a Christmas Club, but I needed that money to keep my head above water this month. I have three cats who keep pissing on my furniture. I have ovaries that will not cooperate and let me get pregnant. I have serious doubts that the adoption people like me -- and if they do, I'm pretty much sure that any kids we foster will hate me, too.

All I have left? Is a serious Mountain Dew addiction, a remote control ... and very little hope.

UPDATE 09/05/07 -- Using my Google-fu, I have discovered that Ellyson Stout recently completed her M.S. from Tufts in Health Communication. Not sure if she will ever see this, but CONGRATULATIONS! If you do ever see this, leave me a comment so I can contact you sometime, OK? You're one of a small handful of people who I went to high school with that I would actually want to see again. Lucky you, ha ha.


So, we're finally making our way through the 4,935,687 things that we TiVo'ed this week (most of them reality shows, duh, and also reruns of "Scrubs," which will never not be funny, because Zach Braff is teh r0xx0rz). One of our regularly scheduled programs is NUMB3RS, and this week one of the guest stars (she plays the pervo teacher) looked familiar, so I looked her up on IMDB. And lo and behold, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but that another guest star this week is someone I think I went to high school with: Georgia Hatzis. I'm still not 100% sure it's her, but I'm 99.997% sure, which is close enough for horseshoes and hand grenades.

To confirm this, I did what I believe is maybe the stupidest thing I ever did this weekend, which is pull out my high school yearbook and look her up. I also Googled her (because I am a creepy weirdo stalker, obviously), but none of the images I was able to find were as convincing as Ye Olde Yearbooke Photographe. And of course this all led to my eleventy squillionth Malibu Barbie Nervous Breakdown this week, because yearbooks = high school = memories = UN.Comfortable!

I ... don't know what's happened to me since high school. Not that I was any great shakes then, either, but at least when I was 18, I thought I would eventually outgrow the Ugly Dorkling stage and turn into Someone So Much Way More Cooler Than I Was Then. Which is so not hard to do, because -- have I mentioned I was a total Ugly Dorkling? I still refer to that period of my life as my reign as Queen of the Nerds. And yet, here I am, 14 years later, still a dork, still decidedly uncool, and still blahblahbittercakes about it.

Because, here's the thing: everybody thinks they're going to grow up to be rich and famous and super and awesome when they're Older. And I'm not yet, I don't think I'm even barely on my way, and at the rate I'm going, I'm never going to be, either. I mean, there's always the lotto, but even then? A lot of my retirement plans are based on the Magical Accounting Principle of "scratch and win." And even though $205 million is a lot of money, I could totally spend that on Kate Spade bags alone. (Real ones, even, not just the knockoffs.)

Anyway ... this isn't how I figured my life would be when I was 32, you know? I wanted to have a Pulitzer Prize for the daring exposé I did on the cruel and unusual training regimens of world-championship-level gymnasts. (Big old no-go there, because the smell of chalk and sweat and perky 72-lb., 17-year-old rag dolls makes me want to hurl.) I thought I'd have an Emmy for my Outstanding Perfomance in the Field of Monday Night Football Play-by-Play Announcing, plus my own official yellow Howard Cosell-era blazer. (Although in retrospect, I'd probably have been partnered with someone stupid for MNF anyway, like Troy Aikman or Michael Irvin, and not somebody cool and gorgeous like Mark "Stink" Schlereth, so I'd also probably end being called a diva or something, because DALLAS SUCKS!, and I'd need to mention that once or a hundred times per telecast.)

What do I have instead? A critical crisis of confidence. I don't even think this blog entry is very good, but I've been working on it for an hour, so I'm going to post it and you're going to read it, dammit. It's hard for me to accept that, when he was my age, Ben Affleck had an Oscar. Ben Fucking Affleck! Eminem has an Oscar, too. When am I going to get my Oscar? When I am going to live up to my potential and become the awesome, wonderful, talented person I always thought I could be? Why is my life -- my perfect little life, with the husband and the Volkswagen and the cats and the 6,300 songs on my iPod -- why is this not enough for me?

And seriously: who in their right mind thought Tony Kornheiser was a good choice for MNF? That guy is an idiot. God.


Dear Future Gonzales Child,

I was thinking about you today. Not wondering, or worrying, but just thinking. I don't know anything about you yet -- we haven't met. You may be a boy or a girl, brown-eyed or blue-eyed, blonde or brunette. You could have already had a birthday or two, or you could still be growing inside someone else's belly. Your skin might be the color of chocolate, or milk, or mocha ice cream. I think about you often, even though we don't know each other yet. And even though I don't know who you are, or what you are, or where you are -- I know that I already love you.

The words I have for you are someone else's, but they say what I am thinking better than anything I could come up with own my own, so ... I just wanted you to know that:

Somewhere out there, beneath the pale moonlight
Someone's thinking of you, and loving you tonight
Somewhere out there, someone's saying a prayer
That we'll find one another in that big somewhere out there
And even though I know how very far apart we are
It helps to think we might be wishing on the same bright star
And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby
It helps to think we're sleeping underneath the same big sky

When you're ready to find us, we're waiting for you. Our door and our home and our hearts are always open. We'll leave the light on for you.

Hope to see you soon,